By Taofik Salako
The Board of Directors of GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria Plc has recommended distribution of N657.7 million to shareholders as cash dividends for the 2019 business year. Shareholders will receive a dividend per share of 55 kobo.
Key extracts of the audited report and accounts of GSK Nigeria for the year ended December 31, 2019 showed that turnover rose from N18.41 billion in 2018 to N20.76 billion in 2019.
Profit before tax also improved from N1.16 billion to N1.17 billion. Profit after tax increased from N617.62 million to N917.10 million.
GSK Nigeria engages in the manufacturing, marketing and distribution of a wide range of healthcare brands including consumer healthcare brands such as Panadol, Sensodyne, Andrews Liver Salt and Macleans and a range of pharmaceuticals including Augmentin, Ampiclox and Amoxil; Zentel and and vaccines.
A breakdown of the dividend indicates that GlaxoSmithKline Plc (UK ), which holds 46.4 per cent equity stake through its wholly owned subsidiaries, Setfirst Limited and SmithKline Beecham Limited, will receive N305.2 million while Nigerian shareholders will receive N352.5 million as cash dividends.
GSK Nigeria had in 2016 concluded a N22.6 billion divestment of its drinks business to the Japanese group, Suntory Beverage and Food Limited (SBF).
GSK Nigeria transferred the ownership to Suntory Beverage & Food Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of the SBF, on October 1, 2016.
The firm’s drinks business included the two iconic brands-Lucozade and Ribena. The sale included the company’s business of manufacturing, bottling, marketing, distributing and selling of the Ribena and Lucozade brands in Nigeria and all assets attached to or deployed in connection with the business.
Since then, the retained business of GSK Nigeria has been its consumer healthcare wellness, oral healthcare, nutrition and pharmaceutical and vaccines businesses.
Following intense negotiations on May 31, 2016, GSK Nigeria and Suntory had agreed to the terms of the proposed sale of the drinks business for a headline price of $79.2 million.
Suntory Beverage & Food Nigeria Limited is a subsidiary of the Japanese group, Suntory Beverage and Food Limited (SBF), a leading soft drinks company with total sales of £6.6 billion.
The divestment deal had been approved by capital market regulators. Shareholders of GSK Nigeria had also on July 3, 2016 approved the divestment.
At the extraordinary general meeting in Lagos, shareholders had approved the divestment and also empowered the board to pay a special dividend of N716 million to shareholders, representing 60 kobo per share.
Tokyo-based Suntory Beverage had said it plans to acquire companies i n Southeast Asia, Middle East, Africa and Latin America to help double sales to 2.0 trillion yen by 2020.
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